Bill O’Reilly: Returning to Fox News Was ‘Like a Big Party’
Former host says he loved return for 'Hannity,' blasts liberal outlets for 'hate-Trump' coverage that's 'clobbering' their ratings
Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said that returning to the network last week for an interview on “Hannity” was “like a big party” following the “political hit job” that resulted in his ouster.
O’Reilly told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham on her radio show Thursday morning that Fox News host Sean Hannity “really stepped up and helped me” in the days after he left the network in April amid sexual harassment claims. Saying that he believed his new book, “Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence,” wouldn’t be topping the charts if not for Hannity’s help in promoting it, O’Reilly thanked Hannity for his help and his sympathy.
"I've known [Hannity] for a long time, just like I've known you for a long time," he told Ingraham. "He knows that what happened was an organized hit, political hit job because the same thing was happening to him, yet he was able to fight it back, and more power to Sean Hannity."
The former Fox News host said that "the best part" of returning to the network for the interview with Hannity was spending time with his former staff members.
"When I came into the building, the best part of it was that I saw all of my old staff and everybody, all the tech guys, and it was like a big party," he said. "I so enjoyed seeing them again, talking to them again."
Noting that Ingraham will begin hosting her own primetime show on Fox News on October 30, called "The Ingraham Angle," O'Reilly repeated some advice he gave her in September.
"You're going to start a new show on Fox News, and I hope you'll keep in close touch with me because I will help you every step of the way," he said. "But you've got to be prepared. You're going to be attacked personally every single day of your life. And I was for more than 20 years. Every single day. You know, it's so hateful, it's so horrible now."
O'Reilly also lamented that mainstream media networks have been siding with liberal viewpoints in their politicized reporting of the shooting massacre that occurred in Las Vegas Sunday night. Saying that many networks have taken to combining their usual "hate-Trump" coverage against the president with advocating for gun control measures this week, the former Fox News host warned that this strategy will end up hurting the networks in the long run.
"The two liberal networks, CNN and MSNBC, are getting clobbered in the ratings, particularly MSNBC. No one is watching them," he said. "So ask yourself, why? Why, in a breaking news situation, would viewers reject those two networks the way they are? And it's because they don't trust them to tell the truth. OK? That's the reason."
"So all of the hate-Trump stuff is beginning now to work against the far Left and the dishonest hordes that their only goal is to make it impossible for him to carry out his administration," O'Reilly added.
Although he expressed his own support for the Second Amendment and Americans' rights to own and bear firearms,O'Reilly said he thinks a few "common sense" changes could be made in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, which left 59 people dead and more than 500 others wounded. Noting that gunman Stephen Paddock legally purchased "almost around 50 guns in the last year or so" that were recorded in the FBI's database, he said this should have raised some red flags.
"Now you would think in the age of al-Qaida and ISIS and all the terror, that that would put a red flag up for the FBI, that they would know about that. Not true," O'Reilly said. "The data goes into the computer and isn't flagged, even if you buy an enormous amount of weaponry. And that is a flaw."
"The FBI has got to have a mechanism in their machinery to flag them when something is out of the ordinary, which this certainly was," he added.
The former Fox News host also noted that he spoke with a "local security guy" who "came up with something that I had never even thought about" for another response to the Las Vegas massacre.
"Every police department in America, when they have an event of say more than two or three thousand people, has to have SWAT teams posted around the event. Las Vegas PD did not," O'Reilly said. "So they had 25,000 people standing in what was pretty much an empty lot, but they had no SWAT team. If they had had that, they could have immediately started shooting at the sniper."
"Then I learned that at Yankee Stadium during the ball games, the NYPD posts snipers in the stadium high above the game," he added. "And so, to me, that was the two things that I learned, two things that could really save lives if we, you know, make the FBI be more efficient and get the word out to local PDs, you've got something like this? You've got to have SWAT snipers available."
Noting that the Second Amendment "is really clear that Americans have the right to arm themselves and protect themselves," O'Reilly maintained that "that's not going to change," no matter how many "loony leftists" choose to "jump up and down and scream."
"However, within the amendment are common-sense public safety rules. You cannot have a bazooka or a mortar, all right? It's a public safety issue," he noted. "You can extend that a little bit to the stock things that take a semi-automatic and can turn it into an automatic, ban them. The criminals will still get them. We all know that."
"You know, this guy had explosives. If he had used the explosives in a car bomb it would have killed more people," O'Reilly added, pointing to Paddock. "And what are you going to do? You can't ban things that make bombs. So we have to basically do what we can do."